'Avoid suppression claims by stopping RTHK services' - RTHK
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'Avoid suppression claims by stopping RTHK services'

2021-04-14 HKT 19:30
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  • 'Avoid suppression claims by stopping RTHK services'
New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip says the government should avoid giving people the impression that it is suppressing press freedom with new editorial controls at Radio Television Hong Kong, and it would be better to just shut down the broadcaster's TV services altogether.

Ip made the call at a Legco Finance Committee attended by Director of Broadcasting Patrick Li.

She also took aim at an RTHK journalist who asked a World Health Organisation official in an interview whether the body would consider allowing Taiwan to join as a member, saying the producer's values were different from those of the government.

The journalist in question, Yvonne Tong, has reportedly resigned after coming under intense criticism from Beijing supporters.

“They just don’t want to act as government mouthpieces, and they even often challenge the government’s bottom line,” Ip said, referring to RTHK staff.

She said this makes managing RTHK difficult, forcing Li to act as a “bad guy” by pulling shows.

Ip said some people believe that the government is suppressing press freedom and freedom of speech, and this has undermined the administration's image.

“Why is all that necessary? The problem has been around for several decades. They have been badly spoilt. They want freedom. They have been using government resources to do whatever they want,” she said.

Ip suggested that the government should shut down RTHK's Public Affairs and General Television Programme, to save around HK$500 million a year.

In 2019, the lawmaker and executive councillor said the station should stop providing news in Chinese, because other news services are available in the city.